Fearless Girl

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Timebandit Timebandit's picture

Warhol started out in advertising, actually. It was how he paid the bills before his pop art "broke". Here's a link about a show that will be displaying his commercial art. I'd kill to go see it - I've always loved his shoe drawings.

http://www.adweek.com/brand-marketing/andy-warhol-adman-sydney-australia/

 

Intent is important, but there's a point where the artist's intent becomes secondary to the audience's interpretation - and there are multiple audiences as well, which makes for complications. What I see here, though, is more a juxtaposition which is something that can happen in a gallery as well as on the street - the whole point of a curated show is to create a larger conversation out of a number of individual works. Film festivals, as I mentioned upthread, often do the same thing. It's just part of the deal. In any case, once a work is out of your hands, it's going to exist in a larger context and that context will give nuance to or even subvert you intention.

6079_Smith_W

Where do I start? Maybe the fact that Warhol started out in advertising art. And kept on with it long after he was famous:

And of course, there is his Love Boat episode.

http://dangerousminds.net/comments/the_andy_warhol_episode_of_the_love_boat

Look Magoo, this line of argument is simply a non-starter. Not just because corporate art can be embraced by the public (Mother's Day, Valentine's Day, Modern Santa Claus), or because advertising art can in fact be art. But because the message here has been recognized as a legitimate one.

Clearly Mr Bull disagrees, but I think he is going to have a hard time winning the day here. And no, not just because of the authoritarian feminist wave.

Hey, I was joking before, but if this is really where he wants to go maybe he should contact A Voice For Men and sculpt the "Crying Boy" so we can all feel his pain.

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

I hope this doesn't mean I can't borrow his image for my anti-drinking-and-driving campaign.

6079_Smith_W

It's not a copyright or trademark issue. That has been pointed out a couple of times.

It is an answer to your trying to dismiss it as corporate art.

Timebandit Timebandit's picture

Not the same thing, Magoo. The juxtaposition in public space is an allowable use, IMO. I guess the court will rule?

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

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It's not a copyright or trademark issue. That has been pointed out a couple of times.

It's certainly not a trademark issue, since Di Modica didn't create Charging Bull to sell a product.  And the courts may say otherwise, if it even gets that far, but I'm not sure that he couldn't make the case that his art was "borrowed" to sell a product -- share in the "SHE" index fund. 

I'm pretty sure I can't just "borrow" Warhol's art in order to make my own art a better advertisement.

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The juxtaposition in public space is an allowable use, IMO.

Warhol's Absolut "art" is evidently on the internet.  What could be more public than that?

Don't either of you worry, though:  I know I cannot just use Warhol's art to make my own art make sense.  That's kind of my point.

Michael Moriarity Michael Moriarity's picture

The comments of Pogo #86 and Timebandit #87 express my ideas about the issues in this case much better than I could have done. Thank you both.

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture
Timebandit Timebandit's picture

You're welcome, Michael.

Thanks for the link, kropotkin.

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

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47 Artworks curated by SAATCHI ART

I'm honest-to-Gord not trying to be difficult when I ask this, but what are you getting at?  Perhaps it's that lots of things, even commercial things, can be art.  But perhaps it's also that Saatchi Art (an offshoot of perhaps the world's best known marketing agency, Saatchi and Saatchi) also likes art.

Anyhoo, it did occur to me, as I was taking my pizza out of the oven, that if State Street Global Advisors or Visbal needs an out, "Fair Use" could be it.  It's why you can legally use an image of the Golden Arches as you mock McDonald's, after all.

 

Rev Pesky

There's an old saying, 'be careful what you wish for'. Using another person's art work to enhance your own, however that is done, is an arm with a pretty long reach. I understand in this case many lefties like the juxtaposition, but it's wise to remember that if this advertisement can be done this way, so can many others. The result may not be quite as nice next time around, and those who are arguing in favour of 'Fearless Girl' this time around will not have an argument to fall back on when it happens again.

6079_Smith_W

Because of course none of us have ever experienced seeing great or progressive works of art turned into a complete travesty in film, or in advertising, or appropriated for someone's political message.

Maybe we'll begin to understand a bit of his pain when that does happen.

 

Timebandit Timebandit's picture

The thing is, Rev, we lefty artists are subject to that kind of juxtaposition anyway and often have our points argued with. You can't make a public statement and expect to be immune to response. I welcome it, actually. 

Rev Pesky

From Timebandit:

The thing is, Rev, we lefty artists are subject to that kind of juxtaposition anyway and often have our points argued with.

Oh, I think arguing the validity of a particular piece of art is fine. I'm not so sure that using someone else's art, without their consent, to enhance your own is 'arguing'.

Rev Pesky

From 6079_Smith_W:

Because of course none of us have ever experienced seeing great or progressive works of art turned into a complete travesty in film, or in advertising, or appropriated for someone's political message.

Of course there is a difference between using someone's art with their consent, and using without their consent. I had a conversation about this particular topic once with W. P. Kinsella. I asked him specifically what he thought of 'Hollywood' making a mess of someone's writing. His reply was that he felt the same way a baker did about his bread. Once it was bought and paid for he didn't care how anyone used it.

​The crucial difference is the issue of consent.

6079_Smith_W

Which is a case Di Modica is going to have a hard time making both legally, and to my mind, philosophically and artistically.

It's not that I don't get why he's pissed off  (even if I do think it is petulant). But he can't have his cake and eat it too, or expect that no one else gets to make artistic statements about Wall Street. And if his bull is part of that, well who is reponsible? And who is he to say no one else gets to use that space?

http://www.atlasobscura.com/articles/tourists-love-to-rub-the-bronze-bal...

And as much as he wants it to be a symbol of the resilience of Wall Street (which it is, and which in fact Fearless Girl does not take a way from, it is very much a boy's club. And the bull is a symbol of that, too.

No worries. I am sure there will still be plenty of people eager to line up and stroke his balls. Funny that the artist never took out an injunction or raised any objection about that unintended use of his work.

NorthReport

FEARLESS LITTLE GIRLS AND GREAT BRASS BULLOCKS

 

https://thenorwichradical.com/2017/04/18/fearless-little-girls-and-great...

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Quote:
No worries. I am sure there will still be plenty of people eager to line up and stroke his balls. Funny that the artist never took out an injunction or raised any objection about that unintended use of his work.

Most bronze statues will have a shiny spot that gets "burnished" by people touching it (usually "for luck").  If there's a "naughty bit" -- testicles, breasts, butt, penis -- that's likely to be the spot, but noses and shoes are also popular.

6079_Smith_W

Yeah, but it ain't Timothy Eaton's shoe. Perhaps I should clarify.

There is no problem with some people seeing and using it as a symbol of overt masculine power.

(one might guess the same reason the bull is the symbol for the market in the first place)

But there is a problem with another artist responding through art to that overt masculine power.

Timebandit Timebandit's picture

Rev Pesky wrote:

From 6079_Smith_W:

Because of course none of us have ever experienced seeing great or progressive works of art turned into a complete travesty in film, or in advertising, or appropriated for someone's political message.

Of course there is a difference between using someone's art with their consent, and using without their consent. I had a conversation about this particular topic once with W. P. Kinsella. I asked him specifically what he thought of 'Hollywood' making a mess of someone's writing. His reply was that he felt the same way a baker did about his bread. Once it was bought and paid for he didn't care how anyone used it.

​The crucial difference is the issue of consent.

Meh. If you don't want responses, stay in the studio - and definitely stay out of the public sphere. One could say that putting it out there is consent in and of itself.

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

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(one might guess the same reason the bull is the symbol for the market in the first place)

It's the symbol of a prosperous market.  They symbol of a sluggish market is also pretty masculine.  Of course bears don't have horns when they're male or anything like that, so I guess we can think of the bear as feminine if we really want to.

Quote:
But there is a problem with another artist responding through art to that overt masculine power.

It's the difference between a tourist rubbing the bull's testicles, and an ad agency commissioning a statue of a person rubbing the bull's testicles and installing it behind the bull.

 

NorthReport

Good on the NYC mayor. My hunch is that Fearless Girl will be in the same spot way past the one year time frame given by de Blasio unless some Giuliani type becomes major of NYC.

Could 'Fearless Girl' defeat 'Charging Bull'?

http://www.cnn.com/2017/04/18/opinions/fearless-girl-lawsuit-outcome-opi...

6079_Smith_W

All she is doing is standing and looking at him, Magoo. She doesn't even look angry.

My point is that if anyone is thinking that the Bull is not a symbol of masculine power they might want to consider how people have been treating it since long before Fearless Girl showed up. It is not a twisting of the meaning in any way.

Likewise, it isn't only since Fearless Girl showed up that the Bull has been interpreted as "aggressive" and "belligerent". It is, after all, a "Charging Bull".

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charging_Bull

So to hear di Modica saying the meaning has been changed, and that it is being made out to be a "villain", it kind of echoes the defensive overreaction when someone simply demands space when they have faced systemic discrimination. No one called him or his bull a villain. He made that up to make himself seem a victim.

 

 

 

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Quote:
Likewise, it isn't only since Fearless Girl showed up that the Bull has been interpreted as "aggressive" and "belligerent". It is, after all, a "Charging Bull".

What was the target of all his aggression prior to March?

6079_Smith_W

I don't know Magoo; no idea what the object of a charging bull's anger is. It is, after all, just a sculpture of a charging bull.

But it is described that way in that New York guide according to wikipedia, and he didn't seem to have a problem with it.

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Quote:
I don't know Magoo; no idea what the object of a charging bull's anger is.

The sculptor's point is that we know now:  it's feminism and equality and girls.

Here's a Solomonesque suggestion to Di Modica:  you don't even need to remove the bull, just turn it sideways.  If State Street repositions Fearless Girl then they're pretty much making your point for you.

quizzical

even better if they turn  it sideways now. makes it look like "fearless girl" won and the bull is running away.

a depiction of truth if the artist  or anyone really moves it.

Pogo Pogo's picture

Rev Pesky wrote:

Oh, I think arguing the validity of a particular piece of art is fine. I'm not so sure that using someone else's art, without their consent, to enhance your own is 'arguing'.

Did Lyndyrd Skynyrd ask Neil Young for permission before they wrote "Sweet Home Alabama"? Or did Pete Townsend ask the Sex Pistols if it was okay to write "Who are You"?  Is 3 dimensional art deserving of some special level of privelege?  

Also the Charging Bull is not there in isolation, it is using the architecture of stock exchange (of course to say how good/resilient stock exchanges are), The point is that it is making a statement not about male bovines, but about the financial system and just like it is okay for someone in the back of the hall to yell "what about the workers" it also okay for Fearless Girl to respond to his point.  If he wanted to have his art viewed with no artistic response he should keep it in his basement with the a poster of the stock exchange behind it and invite people to come and see it (no photos).

voice of the damned

"Did Lyndyrd Skynyrd ask Neil Young for permission before they wrote "Sweet Home Alabama"? Or did Pete Townsend ask the Sex Pistols if it was okay to write "Who are You"?  Is 3 dimensional art deserving of some special level of privelege?"  

A better comparison would be if there was some way that Lynyrd Skynyrd could have arranged it so that every time you hear Southern Man, you hear Sweet Home Alabama afterwards. In the same way that you now can't really look at the Wall Street Bull, at least in person, without also seeing Fearless Girl.

Duchamp's Mona Lisa with a moustache would be a better comparison to the Southern Man/Sweet Home Alabama relationship. I don't think any of the criticisms of Fearless Girl would apply to Duchamp's piece. But it would be a different story if the Louvre were to permanently hang the parody-piece right next to the original, so that every time you looked at Da Vinci's painting, you saw it being lampooned at the same time. I don't think there would be a lot of support in the art world for that.

6079_Smith_W

If the Louvre moved out into the street, maybe.

Fortunately we have plenty of examples of guys who complain that their freedom of expression is being oppressed by women.

Of course in this case it isn't just a portrait. It is a political statement, and therefore something which is completely fair game.

 

 

mark_alfred

Regarding moral rights, I dunno.  Fearless Girl alters the meaning of Charging Bull.  Certainly there was no consent from Di Modica.  To my knowledge, Di Modica never waived his moral rights to his piece.  CB itself was not altered, but arguably was used without permission in association with a product (apparently an index fund from State Street Global Advisors known as "SHE"), though with the removal of the "SHE" plaque, this may no longer be an argument.  I suspect that arguing a breach of moral rights would be an uphill battle for Di Modica, especially since the plaque was removed.  

Regarding the plaque, here is what the original said:  "Know the power of women in leadership. SHE makes a difference."  They replaced this plaque, and installed another one (at a distance from FG) that states the following:

Fearless Girl was placed in New York City’s Financial District, in honor of International Women’s Day 2017, to celebrate the importance of having greater gender diversity in corporate boards and in company leadership positions. She also stands as an inspiration for the next generation of women leaders”--presented by the New York City Department of Transportation Art Program and State Street Global Advisors

NorthReport

Why I like Fearless Girl

The Fight of The ‘Fearless Girl’

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/the-fight-of-the-fearless-girl_us_58...

NorthReport
Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

I've suggested as much in this thread already, but I'll say it again:  seems like people rilly, rilly want this to be a legendary battle between men and women, between capitalism and little girls.

If we let it be just an intellectual property claim by a sculptor, against an investment house and their advertising agency, well, where would be the fun in *that*?

Saw this in the news today, though:

Fearless Girl earns $7.4M in free media for bank

It's not even a bank run by women.  Well played, State Street Corp.!

Pondering

http://fairuse.stanford.edu/overview/fair-use/what-is-fair-use/

What Is Fair Use?

In its most general sense, a fair use is any copying of copyrighted material done for a limited and “transformative” purpose, such as to comment upon, criticize, or parody a copyrighted work. Such uses can be done without permission from the copyright owner. In other words, fair use is a defense against a claim of copyright infringement. If your use qualifies as a fair use, then it would not be considered an infringement....

Commentary and Criticism

If you are commenting upon or critiquing a copyrighted work—for instance, writing a book review—fair use principles allow you to reproduce some of the work to achieve your purposes. Some examples of commentary and criticism include:

  • quoting a few lines from a Bob Dylan song in a music review
  • summarizing and quoting from a medical article on prostate cancer in a news report
  • copying a few paragraphs from a news article for use by a teacher or student in a lesson, or
  • copying a portion of a Sports Illustrated magazine article for use in a related court case.

The underlying rationale of this rule is that the public reaps benefits from your review, which is enhanced by including some of the copyrighted material. Additional examples of commentary or criticism are provided in the examples of fair use cases.

Parody

A parody is a work that ridicules another, usually well-known work, by imitating it in a comic way. Judges understand that, by its nature, parody demands some taking from the original work being parodied. Unlike other forms of fair use, a fairly extensive use of the original work is permitted in a parody in order to “conjure up” the original.

Fearless girl doesn't even physically touch on the Bull.  Meaning is entirely derived by the viewer. If the Bull artist wants to add an explaination to his work to define what he intended it to mean he is free to do so assuming the owner of the piece agrees. To me it is a symbol of unfettered might makes right capitalism.  I would rather destroy Wall Street than see women as equals within it. Bernie Sanders is a better feminist than Hilary Clinton.

To me the fearless girl puts Wall Street on notice that women are not there to blend in with the existing culture but to be equal partners in shaping Wall Street.

The notion that a response to a work of art, even in close proximity, is an infringement on the artist's original statement is an attempt to prevent free speech. If the original artist believes their message requires clarification due to the response they are free to alter their piece or to add an explanation.

The original artist and his lawyer are doing this for the publicity.

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Fair Use doesn't apply to commercial use.

That's probably why State Street removed the plaque, but not before it became public knowledge that Fearless Girl is an advertisement for one of their funds.

Pondering

Mr. Magoo wrote:

Fair Use doesn't apply to commercial use.

That's probably why State Street removed the plaque, but not before it became public knowledge that Fearless Girl is an advertisement for one of their funds.

Better tell weird al yancovitch.  Fearless girl is still a response that does not touch the artist's piece. He didn't even have permission to place the bull there and it is only on loan now. He has managed to maintain ownership rights.

In the end, he illegally set it up in the Financial District but, despite anger from the New York Stock Exchange, who saw the piece as an affront to their line of work, the city later agreed to temporarily install it, and it's been on loan from Di Modica ever since.

Wanna bet putting it on Wall Street increased the value of the statue enormously? Seeing as he just left it in the street I don't see why he can even still claim to own it. The city should have just taken possession. Seeing as he does still own it he should just take it home if he objects to the presence of the girl.

http://www.elleuk.com/life-and-culture/culture/news/a35300/new-york-city...

'A global investment firm has used a global advertising firm to create a faux work of guerrilla art to subvert and change the meaning of his actual work of guerrilla art,' he notes.

The girl is as much guerrilla art as the bull is as both are dependent on location for meaning.

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